Kan. --The popular Tiger Talkback forum at Fort Hays State University has
expanded with the help of the eCitizenship initiative into the online world
with a Tiger Talkback presence on Twitter. Tiger Talkback is a cooperation between
the American Democracy Project and the Student Government Association.
goal of Tiger Talkback is to draw attention to any issues that people are
talking about and gives them a forum to express their thoughts," said Dr.
Robert Moody, associate professor of advanced education programs. "Twitter
allows another form of communication for people to have an avenue to express
their thoughts and feelings and also generate additional conversation among
students and, potentially, faculty members."
Talkback is a way for FHSU students to be heard," said Dr. Cynthia
Garrety, Learning Commons coordinator. The Learning Commons assists students
with all aspects of technology and learning including software, hardware,
equipment, smart study rooms, workshops and tutorials.
goal is to post questions that are provocative, that make students want to respond
or think about the question or someone's post. It gets them thinking about
current events and articles in the news and starts their job of becoming more
of a global citizen," she said.
provides a forum for in-person and online members of the FHSU community and
beyond to engage in a dialog about the important issues of the day.
understanding the issues of today, students will be able to take a stand and
fight for issues that need to be fought for," said Anne Drees, Hays senior and American Democracy
Progect student co-coordinator. "Young students are the future of this
country and they should be the ones starting to take it upon themselves to deal
with these issues."
Talkback discussions have included child soldiering, the 2012 elections and
presidential campaigns, and other issues. These discussions are presented in a
nonpartisan light to allow for a wide range of political and personal opinions.
are encouraging students to feel confident in how they feel that they will step
out of their comfort zone, post something about it and support their
opinions," said Garrety.
week a new Tiger Talkback question will be posted on Twitter and on a white
board located in Memorial Union. Faculty, staff, students and community members
can participate by responding to the question and using the #tigertalkback
are trying to get students to realize the platforms of social media that they
see as connecting with their friends can be so much more," said Garrety.
"Instead of posting what they had for breakfast or 'I'm walking to the
union,' we are trying to get them posting things, responding to things in the
news, responding to our questions, following people who they feel are
newsworthy in their field or in a subject they're interested in."
number of professors have started to integrate Twitter and #tigertalkback
process into their classes as a way to take learning outside the walls of the
students are at an age where they are constructing their view of the world,
constructing the kind of adults they are going to be," said Garrety.
"With Facebook and Twitter and other social media platforms, students can
be heard all over the globe just by typing in 140 characters."
is a great way to use social media in the classroom because it is a safe
environment that promotes higher education learning and non-biased ideas,"
the rise in technology and social media, schools are starting to see an
increasing number of teachers in higher education and secondary education
integrate the use of these technologies into the classroom to enhance student
world revolves around the Internet now, and we have become very dependent on
it," said Moody. "Social media is a free and quick resource to get
information out there through newsletters, instructional clips and videos.
While Facebook may be blocked at school, it's not at home and doesn't cost the
district anything. K-12 teachers could replicate the Tiger Talkback forum in
their own classroom. It would be a great tool for higher order thinking."
of the exciting things about social media is sometimes something will come
across Twitter in a short post and will make you want to learn more," said
Garrety. "One of the most powerful things in education is learning that
there are other ways to get information other than the news agencies and